Raven Klaasen And Rajeev Ram Ease Past Jamie Murray And Bruno Soares In London - UBITENNIS
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Raven Klaasen And Rajeev Ram Ease Past Jamie Murray And Bruno Soares In London

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Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram (atpworldtour.com)

Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram (atpworldtour.com)

Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram produced a clinical performance to defeat home favorite Jamie Murray and his partner Bruno Soares 6-1 6-4 to reach the final in London.

The South African- American combination pounced on a flat start from their opponents and broke twice in games four and six to seal the first set 6-1. The pair won 13 out of 16 first service points en route to annihilating Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in the opening set. The number one team in the world for 2016 had it all to do in the second set.

Klaasen and Ram continued their momentum in the second set as they broke in the very first game to carry on their efficient start to the match. However there is a reason why Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares have won two grand slams as a team this season and have ended the year as the best team in the world, this proved evident as they broke in the sixth game to level the second set at 3-3.  However Klaasen and Ram wasn’t going to let this match slip easily and as a result of their determination they broke straight back for a 4-3 lead. Klaasen and Ram continued their aggressive, smart style of play and served out the match successfully to complete a 6-1 6-4 victory to reach their sixth final of 2016. Here are the match stats from the match:

(TennisTV)

(TennisTV)

 Analysis

Raven Klaasen and especially Rajeev Ram were effective and efficient on serve. They broke four times, which means they were opportunistic and their base level of play was at a high percentage. This was important as Murray and Soares have played brilliantly all season and needed to play a perfect tennis match and they achieved that successfully. For Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares it was a dissapointing end to what has been an exceptional season, they started flat and did not improve since the start of the match. However they can be proud of what they have accomplished this season and will hope to build on that next season.

Tomorrow’s final will see Henri Kontinen and John Peers take on Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram, the teams have met twice which Kontinen and Peers lead 3-0. The final will take place at 3.30pm local time.

Extraordinary Year

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares (bbc.co.uk)

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares (bbc.co.uk)

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares have had an exceptional year, and after their straight sets loss to Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram, they had a ceremony to celebrate their achievement of becoming the year end world number one as a team. Here is the transcript from Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares expressing their emotions about their loss today and becoming the year end team world number one’s:

Q. Jamie, obviously goes without saying you’ll be
very disappointed with that. What didn’t work
today that’s been working so well?
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, I think the guys just zoned. It
can happen. I think we didn’t do a terrible job, we
just got kind of steamrolled, which can happen in
doubles.
Yeah, it just happens sometimes that the guys play a
great match. You know, they hit some great returns
in important moments. They were pretty sharp
around the net. We probably missed a couple shots
kind of at wrong times that kind of didn’t help our
cause.
Yeah, just played a lot better than we did. Fair play to
them.
Q. We’ve talked about the No. 1 ranking. Having
got that yesterday, now the year is over, can you
actually start to look back on it historically,
highlights, the things that you really did well?
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, yeah, I mean, winning,
obviously the tournaments we won were highlights
for us. To win in Australia and the US Open were
huge achievements. We both came into the
partnership not having won a Grand Slam, both
being in finals before. And to get two in the first year
is a great achievement.
I think, yeah, we can be really proud of our efforts
this year. It’s not easy to make a partnership work, I
think. We did a great job. I think we got on great the
whole time. We worked hard for each other, tried to
improve ourselves and as a team.
I think we got lots to look forward to next year.

Q. Jamie, slightly odd to get the trophy when
you’re disappointed with how the match went.
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, it’s a weird feeling. It’s just
life, isn’t it? We lost, but they did a nice presentation. We can be happy with our efforts this year, I think.

Q. When you’ve got to the top, where do you go
from there? How do you kick on and reset goals?
JAMIE MURRAY: I mean, I think we can still improve
a lot in our game. I think we have the last few
months.
Yeah, the more we play together, the better we’ll get,
I think. I mean, it wasn’t like we won every single
tournament. We obviously won a lot of matches but
we lost a lot. I think there’s things we can improve.
We’re both aware of that.
That’s exciting for us, as well. There’s still a lot we
can do better. Hopefully next year we’re sitting here
again in the same spot in the rankings.

Q. Jamie, I guess you would have had to follow
Andy’s match to a certain extent given that you
were playing after. How much did you watch of it
and how hard is it to go out and play yourself?
JAMIE MURRAY: We watched the last set. We didn’t
have anything else to do. We were just waiting for
them to finish.
It was stressful. I’m sure everyone watching it was
finding it pretty tense. Obviously not an easy
situation to watch, then have to go on court to play.
It’s not the first time that’s happened. Just tough to
have to deal with it.
It was obviously great that he won. Gives himself a
chance in the final tomorrow.

Q. Bruno, can you comment on the
disappointment of today’s result, but the
compensation about finishing the year at No. 1 as
a team.
BRUNO SOARES: Well, I think it’s amazing. The fact
that we lost today doesn’t take anything away from
us, everything that we achieved throughout the whole
year.
It’s worse to get an award after you lose a match, but
we knew that could happen. But we had an amazing
year, a very special year for both of us. We won two
slams. We did a lot of right things.
But like Jamie said, we both know we have a lot to
improve. I mean, I think we work hard, we put a lot of
effort in our team. For us, I mean, it’s a lot of rewards
this year for everything we did. We had another great tournament here, great run.
It’s tough. I mean, we played 20 something
tournaments. We won three titles. All the others, we
finished the tournament with a loss. It’s part of our
sport.
Pretty happy with everything that happened this year.

Q. I guess the two of you now go your different
ways. Jamie, you’re off to Wimbledon. Bruno,
you’re back to Brazil. How does a team that lives
so separately prepare for the new season?
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, yeah, we just do our own offseason.
I’m sure we’ll speak with our team now, kind
of have a few goals that we want to get through in the
off-season, you know, individually obviously, because
that’s how we’ll be doing it. When we come back in
January, we link up again, we’ll be ready for the new
year.

Q. Where will you link up?
JAMIE MURRAY: Doha. We’re going to play Doha.

Q. How long will you take off and when will you
start training again?
JAMIE MURRAY: I don’t know. Maybe 10 days,
couple weeks maybe. I mean, it’s not long. It’s kind
of getting towards the end of November, and the
tournament starts the first week of January. If you
want to do a good pre-season, that probably takes
two, three weeks of your time.
Obviously it comes round fast. But, yeah, put the feet
up for a few days, get away from the tennis court,
reflect on a great year, then get back to work.
BRUNO SOARES: Reflect on a great year (smiling).

 

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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